Is Washington turning into a seller's market?
Guy Wolcott, co-founder of Sawbuck.com, the online brokerage based in D.C., shared some local inventory numbers with me recently. Looking at the inventory of homes listed for sale on the local multiple listing service, Metropolitan Regional Information Services, the cupboard is pretty bare in spots.
At the current sales pace, Manassas Park City has just 1.3 months' worth of listings. Manassas City, just 1.4 months. Falls Church City, 2.1 months; and Fairfax County just 2.7 months. Arlington County has 3.9 months
The rule of thumb says 6 months' inventory marks a balanced market--favoring neither sellers nor buyers. According to the MLS data, the Washington metro area as a whole has only 4.5 months supply available--making it a bit of a seller's market. The District, proper, has 5.1 months' supply.
Montgomery County has only 3.8 months' supply, but with that exception, Maryland still has enough inventory that favors buyers. Prince George's County has 8.1 months' supply, and the Maryland suburban counties, combined, have 8.4 months' supply.
Weekend Reading: In Saturday's Real Estate section we have a fun story about local artists who specialize in rendering homes as art--following a tradition that dates back to old Pompeii.
Before you rent that basement: Michele Lerner at UrbanTurf.com has a good post on the hoops D.C. homeowners need to jump through before renting out an apartment. It brings to mind the tenants who died a few years ago from a fire in a Georgetown basement bedroom. Preventing such tragedies is the motivation behind the city's safety requirements.
Chat day: Don't miss today's Real Estate Live chat at 1 p.m! With the extension of the home purchase tax credit and revelation of FHA's low reserves, we ought to have plenty to talk about. If you can't make it at 1, send in your comments and questions early.
The Weekend Poll
This is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.
November 13, 2009; 12:48 PM ET
Categories: Buying , Poll , Selling , Statistics , The economy , The market , Weekend Poll
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